Pixel 6 users are reportedly experiencing a new calling bug that automatically places phone calls to random users in their contact lists. Reports suggest that Google Assistant may be to blame for this issue being faced by early adopters and a temporary fix is also available for preventing those unauthorised auto calls. Users are calling this phenomenon ghost calling or phantom calling. Google is also aware of this issue and has said that it is working on a fix. The issue apparently occurs due to Google Assistant mishearing sounds like the trigger phrase ‘Hey Google' combined with mishandling of audio that misinterprets a command to call someone.
A user on Reddit reports of this ghost calling issue on the Pixel 6 detailing that the phone had dialled ‘a friend that I never called before' early in the morning without any intimation. The other time it happened in the night while the user was reading a book and there was complete silence in the room. The Pixel 6 was reported to be facing down and the user became aware when the call-in-progress tone was heard. The phone is said to have phantom called the user's friend in Europe.
9to5Google even shared a video wherein Google Assistant spontaneously makes a call on the Pixel 6 without any trigger command. Most users who report of the phantom calling issue say that the ‘Hey Google' hot word was never said and no request was made to call any contact.
This issue is reportedly fixable with a reboot, albeit a temporary one. If you want to stop Google Assistant from placing any unexpected calls while the phone is locked, users can disable ‘Assistant responses on lock screen' in Settings. Head to Settings > Google Assistant > Lock Screen > Assistant responses on the lock screen. As mentioned, Google confirmed to 9to5Google that it is aware of the issue and is working on a fix. This issue is likely to be resolved with an upcoming update.